Senator Richard G. Lugar Visits Russia
August 9, 2012
Senator Richard G. Lugar, who has played a historic role in U.S.-Russian relations, visited Russia August 6-8. The Senator, accompanied by Senior Defense Department and Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) officials, visited Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, to discuss the bilateral relationship and to observe the implementation of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.
In Moscow Senator Lugar held discussions with Acting Foreign Minister Andrey Denisov and Deputy Minister of Defense Anatoliy Antonov, met with Senator Mikhail Margelov, Chair of the Federal Council Foreign Relations Committee, State Duma Deputy Vyacheslav Nikonov and others. Lugar discussed prospects for extending the Nunn-Lugar Umbrella Agreement, which currently expires in 2013. The Nunn-Lugar program performs its strategic missile elimination and dismantlement activities in Russia under the U.S.-Russia Cooperative Threat Reduction Umbrella Agreement and the Strategic Offensive Arms Elimination (SOAE) Implementing Agreement. During the Senator's visit, he met with Deputy Director, Federal Space Agency Sergey Ponomaryov, and Senator Valeriy Shnyakin, Deputy-Chair of the Federal Council Foreign Relations Committee at the Missile Elimination and Destruction Facility in Surovatikha. He also visited the All Russia Research Institute of Phytopathology in Golitsyno, where he last visited in 2005 with then-Senator Barack Obama.
In November 1991, Lugar (R-IN) and Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA) authored the Nunn-Lugar Act, which established the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. This program has provided U.S. funding and expertise to help the former Soviet Union safeguard and dismantle its stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, related materials, and delivery systems, as agreed by the Soviet Union under disarmament treaties. In 2003, Congress adopted Senator Lugar’s Nunn-Lugar Expansion Act, which authorized operations outside the former Soviet Union to address proliferation threats.
The Nunn-Lugar program has destroyed more than 500 Russian strategic nuclear missiles at Surovatikha. The Nunn-Lugar scorecard now totals 7,659 strategic nuclear warheads deactivated, 902 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) destroyed, 498 ICBM silos eliminated, 191 ICBM mobile launchers destroyed, 155 bombers eliminated, 906 nuclear air-to-surface missiles (ASMs) destroyed, 492 SLBM launchers eliminated, 684 submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) eliminated, 33 nuclear submarines capable of launching ballistic missiles destroyed, 194 nuclear test tunnels eliminated, 2937.112 metric tons of Russian and Albanian chemical weapons agent destroyed, 578 nuclear weapons transport train shipments secured, security at 24 nuclear weapons storage sites upgraded, 39 biological threat monitoring stations built and equipped.
Lugar said. “Renewing the umbrella agreement with Russia is important to continuing the WMD destruction that is in both of our national interests. The Nunn-Lugar program is also a critical element of our military-to-military and security cooperation with Russia as we face global security challenges.”